July 17th, 2010

Fringe, contemplative, swing

Interview: Andrew Auseon

Welcome to the weekend, everyone! I'm here today with author Andrew Auseon, whose alliterative name makes me happy, and whose newest YA novel, Freak Magnet, was recently released. I'm flattered that Bildungsroman is the final stop on Andrew's blog tour. If you, like we, believe that geeks will inherit the earth, please read on.

Describe Freak Magnet in fifteen words or less.

It's a story of weirdos finding love in a weird and difficult world, with food poisoning.

How does this novel differ from your previous works?

It differs quite a bit, in fact. You only live once, and I have no interest in writing the same story again and again, so I tend to experiment whenever I start on a new book. Freak Magnet is my attempt at an intimate teen romance. Or, it's what I believe an intimate teen romance would be in a sideways reality controlled by me, the Supreme Overlord of Awesome. It has dark humor, charming meet-cutes, family drama, and even a fancy party at the end of the last act. Except in my story, the girl doesn't end up with a young feathery-haired Andrew McCarthy. (I'm throwing the Pretty in Pink reference! Yes, I am old!)

You aren't old. Do you feel as though your writing has changed? How so?

Freak Magnet is certainly less cynical than my previous books, although I'd like to think that all of my stories have a hopeful ending, if not a traditionally happy one. What really stands out to me about this novel is that, from the beginning, I felt an unusual closeness with the characters. Freak Magnet is essentially a story of one relationship: the on-again, off-again friendship of Charlie Wyatt and Gloria Aboud. It's not always a happy story, but it's ultimately one about finding your way out of a very dark place.

Very early on in the writing process, Charlie and Gloria became dear to me as fictional creations. They transcended the page. And the more I wrote, the more I began to feel something I'd never felt before about a novel: as growing sense of responsibility. By creating these characters, I was making a commitment. From that point forward, I was on the hook for seeing Charlie and Gloria through to a certain end. Talk about pressure.

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